The ideal shopping experience in a brick and mortar store engages all 5 senses: starting from the moment the customer walks into to the moment they leave. Retail and brand owners will use elaborate window displays, scents, music to capture sales...but how does this work online?
How can you ensure that you can create customer experiences that are just as good as those in-store despite having limited opportunities to engage those 5 senses?
The answer: an effective digital merchandising strategy!
Unlike in a physical store, visitors to your online store can come from any source and can take multiple paths on your website, across various channels. The key to converting your traffic into sales is guiding your customers carefully throughout their online journey with your brand.
In this series, we explore different aspects of digital merchandising: website, product and customer. In this blog, we focus on the overall website layout. Here are few tips for creating a great platform to showcase your brand and convert shoppers.
1. Tell a great story with your homepage
Your homepage is the window to your website. You can have the best product possible but if the web design is lazy, visitors are less likely to continue browsing on your website. Your homepage should grab the customer's attention and have a clear message. Use this space to inspire customers to know more whether by showing your latest products or offers.
Lululemon's homepage is a good example of this. Their first block is a simple 3-worded message around their latest sports bra, showcased on a clean backdrop. Its powerful without saying much at all, which entices the customer to click further.
2. Display your latest offers upfront
Whether its free returns, free delivery or 50% off sales, don’t be shy to let your customers know about your offers from the start of their journey.
Try putting your free delivery or free returns offer on the top of your navigation bar, so its always visible. Use your website banner to promote sales like Asos. You can also use personalised pop up discounts like our flash sale coupon to incentivise customers as they begin browsing products on your website.
However be strategic about your offers. Bombarding your site visitors with pops-ups will likely irritate them rather than encourage a purchase. Going through your website analytics will help you to time your pop ups and understand where and which coupon codes to use in their customer journey.
3. Make your website easy to navigate
Keep your navigation and category hierarchy simple. Don't put any obstacles in the way or make it difficult for customers to find what they're looking for. Review your top categories on a regular basis and ensure that these can be located easily, in the fewest clicks possible. Use the drop down menu to help your customers explore sub categories.
4. Don’t let your customers search for the search button!
11%-15% of consumers start shopping by searching for a specific product in your search bar. So make sure your search icon is easy to find and is able to deliver the best results. Being able to search by image is even better as picture can tell a thousand words. Have a look at our image search tool here.
5. Be mobile-ready
Up to 60% of your traffic and 30% of ecommerce sales are made on mobile. So make sure you provide mobile-friendly user experiences with responsive designs, front and centered product images, minimal text and layout, with fast load-speeds.
6. Regularly update your website
Make frequent changes to the website, whether it’s in the offers or the imagery. This will helps build trust with your customers, increase your google ranking and attract more visitors to your website. Displaying expired offers or product collections that haven’t changed in a month suggests to your potential customers that your business doesn’t keep up to date with the latest trends, offers delayed service or that you might be going out of business. However, quality is better than quantity. Well-presented and refined web pages, with high quality pictures, is more important than “throwing” something new on the website every week.
If you would like to learn more about how you could optimise your website layout to maximise your conversions, get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up to the See Fashion Think Tank to get the Digital Merchandising series straight to your inbox.
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